|The logo for GSN's Hellevator, which premieres |
Thanks to Game Show Network, we were sent a full episode of Hellevator. It was a rough cut, which means the 44-minute preview from today was not fully edited. According to the cover email, this is the premiere episode for Hellevator.
Before I actually get to the Hellevator review, I have to point out that I see a few distant similarities between the gameplay on Hellevator and the gameplay from GSN's The Chase. I point that out a few times during my review.
|The entire show is based inside |
"The Slaughterhouse", which is an
The episode opens up with three contestants walking into the "Slaughter House". Just a little over two minutes into the episode, Jen and Sylvia Soska, our hosts, come walking into the "Control Room". From here, they have all angles and communication with the three contestants. Jen and Sylvia also get to control the "toys" and noises throughout the "slaughterhouse".
For effect, prior to each challenge, a history lesson is given of a murderer and the story ties in with the upcoming contestant's challenge.
|Photos of the "Slaughterhouse" and Hellevator set.|
Each contestant has to get out of the "Hellevator" one by one. They enter the "Hellevator" in teams of three. When one is going through the challenge, the other two have full communication with the contestant by walkie-talkie. All three contestants at all times are given a walkie-talkie, even though if there are still three contestants remaining, there would have to be two in the "Hellevator".
|The "Control Room", where the Soska sisters|
enjoy the contestant's fear
The top prize is $50,000. It is split between only the surviving contestants who do not get defeated in their own challenge and make it to the end, just like on The Chase. Unlike The Chase, Hellevator is not all or nothing. If the remaining contestants do not win any money in the labyrinth, they keep the money won from earlier rounds. The first challenge is worth $5,000, the second is worth $10,000 and the third is worth $15,000. The last challenge, the "labyrinth" is worth $20,000. If the team completes all three challenges and the labyrinth, they win the grand prize of $50,000. Contestants can choose which one team member will take on each challenge.
The first challenge starts about ten minutes into the 44-minute episode. The contestants, Jen and Sylvia's intro, the "Hellevator", the description of the first challenge and one of the contestants wandering through the warehouse to physically get to the challenge fill the first ten minutes. All in all, the first ten minutes are not a drag at all.
|The team of three contestants inside|
Challenges, in general will feature contestants having to pile organs or find keys to unlock themselves from chains in three to five minutes. In the allowed time, the contestant in the challenge has to complete the actual challenge and has to make it back to the "Hellevator". Jen and/or Sylvia, from the control room (so the contestants only hear their voice) give the instructions.
|One of the contestants has to leave the other|
two to face a challenge
In one challenge, there are five coffins and five objects. There are five different bells with the coffins that match up with the same sounding bells with the objects. Jen and Sylvia, from the control room have the power to mess with the bells and ring more than one of them to distract the contestant. The contestant also needs to make it back to the Hellevator in the allowed time. If the contestant does make it back to the "Hellevator", he/she wins $5,000 for the team and will advance to the labyrinth.
In the "labyrinth", which is the final round, the remaining contestants (either one, two or three) will work together to win an additional $20,000. The eliminated contestant(s), if any, do not participate.
|A contestant realizes that there is a living,|
screaming body inside a coffin.
A couple things I am critical about. For one, Jen and Sylvia Soska are not introduced. They walk into the control room and the vague graphic "@twistedtwins" is there, as if everyone has a twitter and everyone is suppose to know who Jen and Sylvia are. I didn't know the Soska duo before Hellevator, and I lot of people really did not in the horror world up until the past few years. The Soska sisters and the contestants do not use the best of grammar, but neither does a lot of television these days. Honestly, besides a good percentage of the GSN audience possibly too scared for Hellevator (or scary shows/movies in general), this is all I have to complain about for this episode.
Jen and Sylvia do carry Hellevator very well while the editing is near perfect. The back and forth between the contestants and our co-hosts are spot-on. It's great that Hellevator does not show Jen and Sylvia too much, because what viewers want to see is the horror and the contestants' reactions. The editing crew for Hellevator gets an A+ grade.
|Jen and Sylvia Soska, the hosts of Hellevator,|
get to watch everything and talk to the
contestants from the "control room".
On a very minor but fun, creative note: The floor numbers in the "Hellevator" as they go down are only negative numbers.
At this point, there is no opening theme for Hellevator. There is just the logo with a couple lighting effects in the background at the very beginning. However, this may change as the episode gets its final edits.
|Jen and Sylvia root against the contestants.|
To end, another similarity with The Chase: On The Chase, "The Beast" Mark Labbett roots against contestants. On Hellevator, Jen and Sylvia root against the contestants. In a challenge where a contestant has to do math, one of the Soska twins wonders if the contestant is good with math, while the other Soska twin says "I hope not."
Overall grade: A-
If you love horror, it's probably an A+. If you love traditional game shows and refuse to watch anything modern, new or different than classic Pyramid, than you will probably give it a failing grade. For what GSN is trying to accomplish with Hellevator, this pilot gets a high grade. Hellevator is definitely worth a try whether if you are a game show fan or a horror fan.
Hellevator premieres Wednesday, October 21st at 8pm ET on GSN.
Hellevator premieres Wednesday, October 21st at 8pm ET on GSN.